Yuki Kawauchi of Japan (Yohei Kamiyama/Agence SHOT) © Copyright
General News Düsseldorf, Germany

Kawauchi adds depth to Düsseldorf field

Yuki Kawauchi of Japan has joined the field for the Metro Group Marathon Düsseldorf, organisers of the IAAF Bronze Label Road Race announced today.

Kawauchi established a personal best of 2:08:37, when he was third in Tokyo in 2011. This year however he missed qualifying for the Japanese Olympic team, because he managed only 2:12:51 in Tokyo and came in 14th. In Düsseldorf the 25-year-old intends to show that he would have been worth a place in London.

But the opposition will be tough on 29 April. Among his rivals will be Ethiopian Seboka Diriba Tola, who improved to 2:06:17 in Dubai in January. Despite this fast time he was only ninth in the race. But he did beat fellow Ethiopian Yemane Adhane Tsegay (2:06:29) who won the Rotterdam Marathon last Sunday with a sizzling 2:04:48.

Defending champion Nahashon Kimaiyo (Kenya/2:10:36) will be returning to Düsseldorf. He won last year's race in 2:10:54 despite very warm weather conditions. If the weather will be more suitable for marathon running this year he and his fellow-Kenyans Joseph Ngeny (2:08:10) and Evans Ruto (2:08:36) could be able to go faster than the present course record, 2:08:32 set by Iaroslav Musinschi of Moldova in 2010.

There will also be a very strong Ethiopian runner in the women's race: Kebebush Haile features a personal best of 2:24:09. With this time she had won the Shanghai Marathon in 2011. The 26-year-old has also done very well in the Rome Marathon in the past two years. In 2010 she was second with 2:25:31 and in 2011 she took third (2:27:39). With her consistent good results she might be able to break the eight-year-old course record set by Germany's Luminita Zaituc (2:26:44).

German interest will focus on Jan Fitschen. The 2006 European 10,000m champion intends to reach the national qualifying time for the Olympic Games which is 2:12:00. He ran 2:15:40 in Frankfurt last October.

Organisers for the IAAF